Equity

Race, Culture & Ethnicity

My grandfather worked in coal and copper mines for 26 years doing back-breaking, dirty work that allowed him to support a family of nine children, purchase several acres of land, and become a community leader. (For several years leading up to World War II, he was the head of the Republican Committee in Rock Springs, Wyoming.)

Mona Haydar is a Syrian-American artist from Flint, Mich. She wears a hijab with pride. She's been a performance poet for 13 years, writing about love, trauma, loss and joy.

When Jewish couple Mikey Franklin and Sonya Shpilyuk hung a "Black Lives Matter" banner from the window of their condominium, they hoped to voice their solidarity with the social justice movement. Instead, the backlash to their small act of resistance was swift. Two days later, their car was egged and toilet paper was strewn across a tree in front of their property.

The New England Patriots returned to the White House for the now-traditional visit to the president and presentation of a game helmet, jersey and other team-related swag. Correction, some of the Patriots visited the White House. Several, including most famously tight end Martellus Bennett, defensive back Devin McCourty and running back LeGarrette Blount, bowed out early on. (Blount was blunt: "I will NOT be going to the White House. I don't feel welcome in that house. I'll leave it at that," he told the Rich Eisen Show on Feb.

When 18-year-old Nermeen Ileiwat first began college, she could not wait to get into a relationship — maybe even get engaged before graduation. But after one year, the rising sophomore realized she had no idea what she wanted out of life and was in no position to get into a relationship.

That decision didn't last long. Only a few months after, Ileiwat met someone at a party, and their friendship quickly turned into something more.

Last week, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos appointed Candice Jackson as the acting assistant secretary of the Office for Civil Rights. Jackson will oversee a staff of hundreds charged with responding to thousands of civil rights complaints every year, including some from students who feel discriminated against based on race, color, national origin, sex, ability, and age.

A piece from New York Magazine's Andrew Sullivan over the weekend ended with an old, well-worn trope: Asian-Americans, with their "solid two-parent family structures," are a shining example of how to overcome discrimination. An essay that began by imagining why Democrats feel sorry for Hillary Clinton — and then detoured to President Trump's policies — drifted to this troubling ending:

On Tuesday British Prime Minister Theresa May announced plans to hold a snap general election on June 8. Following Britain's decision last summer to exit the European Union she said that, "Britain needed certainty, stability and strong leadership" ahead Britain of settling its divorce from the EU. This surprise news came as a shock to the political establishment in London.

On Illinois Edition, we hear an excerpt from this presentation which took place earlier this month.

The politics of respectability, that elusive set of guidelines that dictate how racialized Americans ought to conduct themselves in public, were complicated this week when a 69-year-old Asian-American doctor was forcibly dragged off a United Airlines flight.

The video of Dr. David Dao's body being hauled off the plane provoked international outrage, especially from Asian-Americans, but some argued that race had nothing to do with the incident — that the same level of outrage would have followed regardless of the passenger's race.

Two questions immediately come to my mind.

Young black and Latino men are more likely than any other group to be the victims of violent crime, but American society has devoted too few resources to helping these young men heal after their violent encounters, according to researchers with New York City's Vera Institute of Justice.

In recent weeks, the stories of missing black and Latina girls sparked an outcry on Twitter and Facebook because there seemed to be a flurry of new cases that were being under-reported by local news in the Washington D.C. area.

Illinois Issues: LGBT In The Time Of Trump

Apr 13, 2017
Equality Illinois

As rapid-fire change comes at the federal level, advocates want  to keep Illinois' status as one of the leading states in offering protections.

Alex McCray didn’t want to believe Donald Trump had won the election. In the words of the transgender nursing student from downstate Sherman: “I was hoping it was all just one terrible nightmare. It felt like my rights were being ripped out right from underneath me.”

In recent years, the fate of Chicago's public schools is increasingly driven by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a former Obama administration top adviser and Chicago native. Some community activists and a growing number of black and Latino parents are expressing anxiety and unhappiness over what they see as his disregard for their needs, and the barriers they face due in part to historic institutional discrimination.

For many, alarms went off last week when he announced proposed new high school graduation requirements.

When Prince first signed with Warner Bros. Records, he didn't want to be categorized as a black musician. This was the late 1970s, before music by black artists was widely marketed to multiracial audiences; before kids in every household in America were glued to their screens watching "Thriller" on MTV.

President Trump's missile strike against Syria is the first time the U.S. took direct military action against the Assad regime since the civil war began there in 2011. But some Syrians have been asking for more U.S. involvement for some time.

Mouaz Moustafa is one of the most vocal—and now, he feels that he's finally been heard.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

In the heart of an ever-gentrifying New York City neighborhood, the Nuyorican Poets Café was once called "the most integrated place on the planet" by none other than Beat poet Allen Ginsberg. Today it remains a wildly diverse venue still influenced by its mostly Puerto Rican founders who claimed it as a site of artistry and resistance in 1973.

Poet and founder Miguel Algarín and his artist friends just wanted a place to get together to create. By the 1990s, the Café was the epicenter of Slam Poetry in the country.

A new study from Stanford University's Immigration Policy Lab says giving driver's licenses to people who have entered the country illegally is actually contributing to public safety: licensed drivers are less likely to have hit-and-run accidents.

The videos are an infamous genre unto themselves: "Mother Punches Her Daughter Dead in the Face for Having Sex in the House!" "Dad Whups Daughter for Dressing Like Beyonce." "Son Left In Bloody Mess as Father Forces Him to 'Fight.'" Their images stream from Facebook timelines and across YouTube channels, alternately horrifying and arresting: burly fathers, angry mothers, lips curled, curses flying, hands wrapped around electrical chords, tree branches, belts, slashing down on legs, arms, buttocks and flesh as children cry and plead and scream out in agony.

In 1997 Talvin Singh, a British musician of Indian origin finished putting together a 12-track record with the help of his friend Sam Zaman, better known as the performer State of Bengal. Along with a few of their own compositions, the tracks were produced by musicians who were British nationals from families that had emigrated from South Asian countries such as Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Driverless cars could transform the way our country moves, potentially making roads more efficient and possibly saving lives because of fewer traffic accidents. But for all the benefits of a driverless future, this next-generation transportation is threatening the livelihood of America's professional drivers, including scores of people of color.

Gene and guest host Glen Weldon (our play cousin from Pop Culture Happy Hour) explore how comics are used as spaces for mapping race and identity. Gene visits Amalgam Comics and Coffeehouse in Philadelphia and chats with proprietor Ariell Johnson, who is reclaiming the comic book store, which once made her uneasy as a black fan. Meanwhile, C. Spike Trotman, another black woman, has made a name for herself as an online comics publisher of Iron Circus Comics in Chicago.

Researchers at Stanford University this week published a study that may bolster the argument that policies aimed at encouraging immigrants to come out of the shadows actually improve public safety. They found that a 2013 California law granting driver's licenses to immigrants in the country illegally reduced hit-and-run accidents by 7 to 10 percent in 2015, meaning roughly 4,000 fewer hit-and-runs. In that same year, 600,000 people got driver's licenses under the law.

Busy week, per always: resistance to deportations, Spicy being salty at the White House, and Muslim Latinas. Yeah, really.

There's a compelling question at the heart of a report released this week by the Metropolitan Planning Council: If more people — especially educated professional white Americans — knew exactly how they are harmed by the country's pervasive racial segregation, would they be moved to try to decrease it?

Illinois Issues: This State's Abortion Debate

Mar 30, 2017
U.S. Supreme Court exterior
Brittany Hogan / flickr

Bill aims to protect abortion rights on the chance Roe v. Wade  is overturned.

With Democrats in firm control of the Illinois General Assembly, abortion rights might seem to be safe in the state. But what would happen if the U.S. Supreme Court overturned its landmark Roe v. Wade decision, which made abortion legal across the country in 1973?

Rachel Otwell / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Last month, a Springfield police officer named Samuel Rosario beat a resident of east Springfield. It was captured by a body camera. Rosario is facing charges and is on unpaid leave. 

Muslim children are more likely to be bullied in school than children of other faiths. A new survey by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) reveals that 42 percent of Muslims with children in K–12 schools report bullying of their children because of their faith, compared with 23 percent of Jewish and 20 percent of Protestant parents.

These results confirm recent findings by other research and advocacy groups showing that bullying of students of color is on the rise.

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